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Agile Executive Forum Introduction

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The Agile Executive Forum runs in August this year, overlapping with the first day of the Agile 2015 conference in Washington DC.  The Executive Forum is being held at the Center for Innovative Technology in Herndon, VA.

The Center for Innovative Technology

The conference theme is Buidling the Lean Enterprise - the conferencewebsite describes the event as

An intensive 1-day opportunity to explore the latest strategic thinking in Lean/Agile principles and practices and how to apply them toward building a Lean Enterprise. You'll learn how to improve time-to-market and quickly deliver sustainable business value, yielding a greater competitive advantage and fostering greater profitability.

InfoQ spoke to the conference co-chair Sanjiv Augustine about the event. 

InfoQ:  Please tell us a bit about the Executive Forum – who is it intended for, why is it being run?   

The Agile Executive Forum is an Agile Alliance program, just like the Agile 20XX conferences.  It is run in conjunction with the larger Agile conference, and is a more exclusive event targeted at senior executives who are either spinning up, or are currently responsible for managing agile transformations.

InfoQ:  What is the theme or focus for the Forum?

This year’s theme is the Lean Enterprise.  As organizations transform towards business agility, they need to both scale and augment agile methods like Scrum, Kanban and XP with Lean Product Development to build what our customers truly needs; and DevOps to get our solutions to customers as quickly as possible with minimum waste.

InfoQ:  Who are some of the speakers and what will they talk about?

We truly have a awesome lineup of speakers.  Mark Schwatrz from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Randy Salley from Wal-mart, Michael Gioja from PayChex and Chris Cate from Valpak Media will address the challenges with large-scale agile adoption.  Gill Haus from Capital One will speak to innovation in the enterprise, and Nicole Forsgren from Chef will talk about DevOps and the bottom line.  Over and above these amazing executive speakers providing their real-life stories, we will have a Scaling Agile panel moderated by Dot Tudor, formerly on the DSDM board, and with a literal who’s-who in the space:  Jeff Sutherland representing Scrum, Dean Leffingwell representing SAFe, Craig Larman representing LeSS, and Scott Ambler representing DAD.  I feel truly fortunate for having been able to get all these great minds in one place and at one time!

InfoQ: What can people expect to get from attending the conference?

Attendance is capped at 120 people, so our attendees can expect an intimate environment where they can both listen to, and interact with some of the most esteemed executive practitioners in the agile space.  They can learn, network and enjoy themselves all at the same time.  From what I’ve seen, this is is truly a unique event worldwide.  

InfoQ: What are the biggest challenges to agile adoption in the large enterprise space, and any advice on overcoming them?

Transforming a large enterprise is like turning a large ship around – it takes skill, time, and immense patience.   To acquire the skills, executives need to learn about scaling Agile, Lean product development and DevOps.  To become effective change agents with the diplomacy to drive enterprise change, I recommend executives learn from each other, and delve into the field of organizational development (OD).

Sanjiv Augustine - Agile Executive Forum 2015 co-chair

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